Patience Required for IP Contracts

Between the Fencerows

This year the rush on soybean seed has made Identity Preserved planning difficult

Published on: April 17, 2013

We generally spend a couple of weeks in December combing through yield data, test plots, and sales brochures to make selections of hybrids and varieties that we feel will be the best fit for our farms.

The last several years, for economic reasons, we have made a move toward Identity Preserved crop.  IP contracts can throw a wrench into all that work in no time flat.  There can be a fine line between yield potential and crop premium which will affect the bottom line.

While there is generally an early push by processors and brokers to get acres locked up, many factors influence what you thought your plans were.  These 'plans' can change right up until the seed is in the planter. 

This year one of the soybean varieties we planned to grow was lost in storage.  End users can be slow making decisions on their end.  Demand for one variety was confirmed in the last few days.  Yet another variety is being produced in South America, and won't get here early enough for us to plant.  Seed shortages also play a role. 

The result is a change in plans, sometimes trickling down into other crops.  Most years it's not a big deal.  This year, however, the rush on soybean seed in general has made planning difficult.  Procuring our preferred GMO seed was difficult.  Placements and contracts are finally figured out, and the last delivery is scheduled to arrive this week. 

Sometimes being flexible can lead to attractive premiums, so I will continue to be open.  If some last minute acres come up, or if weather forces a switch of some corn to soybeans, we can add another variety to the line-up.  Hopefully it will add to the bottom line.

This year, nearly all our soybeans will be IP.  Of those acres all are non-GMO. By definition, each IP variety will be planted, harvested and stored separately with careful clean-out between varieties. 

In the past, some uses have included seed stock for next year, aquaculture fish food, export, tofu, and commodity.